The process of qualifying suppliers has been structured even further, in order to provide better assurance that the quality required by customers will be delivered, while also taking account of the willingness of individual businesses to understand the values that underpin the industrial policies adopted by IMA. These seek results of course, but also respect for the rights of future generations.
In order to check the qualification of suppliers and their compliance with the minimum requirements laid down by IMA, questionnaires are sent concerning how they organise design, production and testing activities, as applicable. Audits and documentation are provided to prove that the supplier is actually compliant with IMA standards.
Supplier performance is measured in terms of quality, prices and delivery times used as the basis for the calculation of the vendor rating, a ranking based on the attribution of scores related to supplier performance. Since 2019, the methodology was strengthened by integrating the procedure with audits in matters of Governance requirements, such as Legislative Decree 231/01 and Law 262/05. Furthermore, in 2021 the calculation mechanisms were improved and higher objectives were set compared with previous years to reflect the general improvement and the increase in IMA’s expectations.
RANGE OF RATINGS
Over a range of ratings from 0 to 100, where 60 is satisfactory, the average score of core suppliers was 63 for the custom-designed components in 2021 (64 in 2020) calculated on 263 assessments and 78 for catalogue components (77 in 2020) calculated on 106 assessments.
At the end of 2021, there were 525 suppliers qualified through the IMA method (assessment completed or in progress):
286 of components 10 of third-party machinery;
44 of assembly and wiring 81 technical assistance;
54 of design and documentation 50 of complete systems.
For custom-designed component suppliers, IMA has developed another method of qualification designed to raise suppliers’ awareness of quality issues through training sessions by IMA testing personnel. The idea is then to transfer part of the testing of mechanical components to the suppliers. At the end of 2021 27 suppliers qualified for self-evaluation. In addition, a qualification activity began in 2017 to ensure compliance with the hygiene requirements and contain the risk of contamination for parts that come into contact with the customer’s food or pharmaceutical product; at the end of 2021, this activity sees a number of qualified suppliers equal to 107.
In 2018, an activity started with a view to focusing and better defining the requirements for the qualification of “hub” suppliers, who in turn have their own subcontracting network for the production of complex products. To strengthen the control and monitoring of strategic suppliers given the complexity of the products supplied, a project was launched in 2019 to improve the quality of the Sinermatic network, which includes all the supplier companies in which IMA holds a stake. The project envisages the definition of the requirements by IMA, integrated with an analysis of the improvement actions by the companies in the network, with the aim of positioning them in the high quality range of the supplier base. To date there are no further specific environmental or social requirements used in the qualification of a new supplier, except as provided with regard to workplace safety and protection during the document collection phase and during the visit at the supplier’s premises, evaluating, among other things, their technical-professional suitability, whether wages and social contributions are paid regularly, whether they have a dedicated structure for occupational security. IMA drew up a Supplier Code of Conduct as an incentive for the Supply Chain to adopt the same rules of conduct as IMA.
PERSONNEL OF THIRD-PARTY COMPANIES
An important category of suppliers is represented by personnel of third-party companies who work directly at IMA’s plants: these relationships are governed by contracts that meet the standards prescribed by law and require the Contractor to provide IMA with all the guarantees required by regulations on workplace protection, health and safety, social security, insurance cover, and regular payment of contributions.